NFL

U.S.: NFL Legend Joe Montana Invests in Cannabis Media Business

Joe Montana

By Michael Bachara
Hemp News

Recently, NFL Hall of Fame quarterback Joe Montana bought into cannabis technology company HERB.

HERB, a digital media company based in Toronto, Canada geared specifically for the cannabis industry, mixes original how-to videos with hard news and profiles. The company, which boasts 5.3 million unique visitors per month and 2 billion organic video views annually as of June 2017, aims to expand to Los Angeles and New York City, as well as build out new studios to offer online video content.

Liquid 2 Ventures, Montana's venture capital firm, was a part of a group that invested $4.1 million into Herb during the company’s seed-funding round.

Ohio: Former NFL Players, Troy Smith, Eric Metcalf, Look to Open Cannabis Dispensary

Smith - Metcalf

By Michael Bachara
Hemp News

Former NFL players Troy Smith and Eric Metcalf are pursuing one of the 60 dispensary licenses that Ohio will be issuing later this year. Smith, the 2006 Heisman Trophy winner who was a fifth-round pick of the Ravens, has said that head trauma he suffered while playing football is one reason he’s involved in cannabis dispensaries.

"Sports is a great thing to watch when you're snacking on chicken wings, but it's dead serious. We need to pay more attention to it and be more delicate," Smith said, adding that he is certain medical cannabis can be helpful to people with brain injuries.

New York: Former NFL Star Marvin Washington Advocating for Cannabis

Marvin Washington Cannabis

By Michael Bachara
Hemp News

Former NFL Defensive End Marvin Washington, who played 11 years in the NFL and won a Super Bowl with the Broncos in 1999, wants the NFL and the Players Association to embrace cannabis as a safe alternative to treat debilitating sports injuries.

Ohio: Former NFL Linebacker, Reggie Williams, Says Cannabis Saved Leg

Reggie Willams, Cincinnati Bengals

Former NFL linebacker Reggie Williams has joined the growing list of former pro-athletes advocating for cannabis

By Michael Bachara
Hemp News

Reggie Williams, who played 14 seasons from '76 to '89 with the Cincinnati Bengals, has been using a cannabis Cannabidiol (CBD) patch to fight chronic leg pain. Williams decided against treating the pain with opioids that could lead to a lifetime of drug addiction while undergoing treatment for the leg injury. Williams stated, "I didn't want to go from all those surgeries to being an addict for the rest of my life in order to stay sane" while dealing with chronic pain.

Survey: 87 Percent of NFL Players Support Medical Cannabis Use

NFL Cannabis

The majority of NFL players use opiate-based painkillers, and most would rather try medical cannabis for pain relief, according to survey

By Michael Bachara
Hemp News

A recent survey sent to current and former National Football League (NFL) players shows 87 percent of players think the league should change its stance on cannabis and allow players to utilize the herb for medical purposes.

The 38-page survey, which includes answers from 152 respondents, reveals 89 percent of players think medical cannabis could be used to effectively treat pain if the league allowed it. Approximately 45 percent of players surveyed said they felt pressured into using chemical painkillers by team doctors, staff, and teammates.

United States: Four NFL Players Ask Jeff Sessions To Fix The Justice System

Justice

The war on drugs is a war most of the country, unlike Attorney General Jeff Sessions, would like to end

By Michael Bachara
Hemp News

Current National Football League (NFL) players, Johnson Bademosi (Detroit), Anquan Boldin (Detroit), Malcolm Jenkins (Philadelphia) and Glover Quin (Detroit), have written a column that advocates against what could be a renewed war on drugs. The op-ed piece, posted at CNN.com, is a response to Attorney General Jeff Sessions request for prosecutors to seek the strongest possible sentences in all situations, including non-violent drug offenses.

Pennsylvania: NFL Hall of Fame Linebacker Jack Ham Working To Strengthen Cannabis Advocacy

Jack Ham Cannabis

One of the greatest outside linebackers in the history of the NFL has become an advocate for medical cannabis in Pennsylvania

By Michael Bachara
Hemp News

Legendary Pittsburgh Steeler and 1988 Pro Football Hall of Fame Inductee, Jack Ham plans to serve as a spokesperson and consultant for AgriMed, which is one of several hundred companies vying for one of 12 licenses to grow and provide medical marijuana in Pennsylvania.

While Ham is partially advocating for the company because he wants to see jobs return to Greene County, where its operation would be located, he also believes it is time for the NFL to take a more open stance on the drug.

Colorado: NFL Players Fight Pain With Medical Marijuana

Monroe.jpg

By Derrick Stanley
Hemp News

Nine former professional football players, all members of the Denver Broncos Alumni Association, met recently at CW Hemp offices in Boulder, CO for a tour and a firsthand lesson on the potential benefits of the marijuana plant. They all suffer daily from aches and pains that are a result of the combined nearly 700 NFL games in which they have played.

“Every day, I wake up in pain, from my ankles to my neck,” said Ebenezer Ekuban, 40, who played defensive end for nine NFL seasons. “It’s part of the territory. I know what I signed up for.”

Football players have treated pain for years with over-the-counter anti-inflammatories, powerful prescription painkillers, and alcohol. One study says that retired NFL players use opioids at four times the rate of the general population. Marijuana advocates say there's a safer, healthier alternative available.

“This pain is never going away. My body is damaged,” said Eugene Monroe, 30, who was released by the Baltimore Ravens last year just three weeks after becoming the first active player to publicly call on the NFL to permit medical marijuana. “I have to manage it somehow. Managing it with pills was slowly killing me. Now I’m able to function and be extremely efficient by figuring out how to use different formulations of cannabis.”

Texas: Cowboys' Owner Jerry Jones Wants NFL To Drop Its Marijuana Ban

Jerry Jones.jpg

By Derrick Stanley
Hemp News

Jerry Jones spoke up at the Annual League Meeting for NFL team owners last week, telling the group that he wants the NFL to "drop its prohibition on marijuana use."

His fellow owners reminded him that a change won’t be coming anytime soon because it’s something that would have to be collectively bargained.

Jones is certainly not alone in the NFL in questioning the league's ban on marijuana use. Former Cowboys cornerback Brandon Carr said in an interview for Sportsday a few months ago that he compared it to alcohol.

"I see guys that partake in marijuana are calmer, cooler than guys that drink", Carr said. "I haven't really seen too many people get in jams or binds with their emotions or losing their cool off of marijuana."

Several other retired NFL players, such as former Chicago Bears quarterback Jim McMahon, have spoken out in recent months encouraging the NFL to consider new information available, and to drop its ban on medical marijuana. Some players feel that using medical marijuana is safer than using prescription painkillers, which can be addictive.

The NFL told Pro Football Talk it is "willing to listen to the medical community" regarding the use of marijuana.

Texas: Former NFL Players Advocate For Medical Marijuana

Jim McMahon.jpg

By Derrick Stanley
Hemp News

Several former NFL players are hoping to change the league's ban on marijuana.

A cannabis convention was held at the Revention Music Center in Houston Wednesday night ahead of Super Bowl LI. Jim McMahon, former NFL quarterback and two-time Super Bowl champion, was one of several former players in attendance.

“Marijuana is not a drug,” said McMahon. “It’s a medicinal herb. Drugs happen only when man puts their hands on it.”

McMahon and other former players shared stories of how marijuana saved their lives.

“I went through a real bad depression and laid down on the railroad tracks and tried to commit suicide myself so it was just by the grace of God that I found God and found cannabis as well,” said Boo Williams, former NFL tight end.

“[I had] constant thoughts of suicide and depression and rage and all these things that were neurologically disrupting my life and I can’t say enough about making that transition,” former NLF offensive lineman Kyle Turley said.

He continued, “I don’t take an aspirin to this day, an Aleve, an Advil, nothing. I have a strict cannabis regimen that I use.”

McMahon hopes to help remove the stigma related to marijuana and promote its benefits to the general public as well as former NFL players.

New York: NFL Suspends Player Who Uses Marijuana To Treat Chronic Illness

Seantrel Henderson.jpg

By Derrick Stanley
Hemp News

Th NFL has suspended Buffalo Bills tackle Seantrel Henderson for 10 games for violating the league's substance abuse protocol, despite the fact that he was using medical marijuana to treat a chronic illness.

Henderson's agent, Brian Fettner, said that he had used marijuana to treat his pain from Chron's disease because he had no other option.

Chron's disease is an incurable, often painful ailment that causes inflammation in the digestive tract. It caused Henderson to miss five games last season and he has had to have 2.5 feet of his colon removed.

Many football players use opioids to treat pain, an option Henderson doesn't have because those painkillers can damage the intestines -- damage that Henderson can't afford.

It's possible that Henderson could sue the NFL to get back in the game. He may have some legal recourse, since medical marijuana is legal in New York where the Bills play.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed the Compassionate Care Act in 2014, which says, in part, patients "shall not be subject to arrest, prosecution, or penalty in any manner … by a business" just for taking medical marijuana.

Pennsylvania: Jason La Canfora Says NFL Needs To Stop Testing For Marijuana

leveon-bell.jpg

By Derrick Stanley
Hemp News

Sports writer Jason La Confera is pleading that the NFL stop its drug testing and marijuana ban in the wake of Pittsburgh Steelers running back Le'Veon Bell getting a four-game suspension for failing and/ or missing multiple drug tests due to marijuana usage.

“I’ve dropped my specimen cup and I’m waving the white flag,” La Canfora wrote in a column. “Spare us all…get the heck out of these guys’ living rooms, or dens, or hermitically-sealed smoke rooms.”

La Confora says that no-one benefits from it.

“Is there anyone who thinks this is good for football?” La Canfora said. “I mean, aside from a short-sighted fan, whose team plays the Steelers, say, in Week 3, and who is hoping that week Bell is still suspended. What are we really accomplishing?”

“I understand the need for players to follow the rules, but shouldn’t the punishments fit the crimes,” he added. “What if we just admit this is a personal choice a good many of these athletes are going to make as a counter-punch to all of the blows to the head they are contractually obligated to take?”

He spoke more on his views during an interview with “The Fan Morning Show” on Tuesday.

Colorado: Jake Plummer Rips NFL's Marijuana Stance And 'Billionaire A--hole' Jerry Jones

Jake Plummer.jpg

Jake Plummer, former Denver Broncos quarterback, spoke with BSC Denver recently, criticizing the NFL for its marijuana ban and Cowboys owner Jerry Jones for denying the link between CTE and football. He even called Jones a 'billionaire a--hole."

"I have a hard time with it because everybody says, 'Oh, poor NFL millionaires. Oh, you poor people.' They don't understand," Plummer told BSN Denver. "Maybe they should have a little more to say about the owners that are billionaires, they're not millionaires; they're billionaires."

"Like Jerry Jones, who says it's 'absurd' that there would be a link between brain trauma, football and CTE," Plummer said. "Shame on him for saying that, that billionaire a--hole. It's the worst thing in the world for a guy like that to say. That's where we're sitting; grown-ass men are asked to go out there for millions of dollars -- which, yeah, it's a lot of money -- bang themselves around and completely f--- their lives over for their 40s and 50s. So yeah, poor football players is what I say. If you're a grown-ass man, you should be allowed to make grown-ass decisions."

Plummer is now 10 years into retirement and has seen the negative physical effects football has had on teammates.

But Cowboys owner Jones is denying that football can cause CTE, chronic traumatic encephalopathy.

U.S.: Derrick Morgan Becomes 2nd Active NFL Player To Support Marijuana Research

DerrickMorgan[RantSports].jpg

Last week Derrick Morgan, starting outside linebacker for the Tennessee Titans, became the second active NFL player to call on the league to support cannabis research in order to see how specific compounds in the plant can help treat or prevent chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE.)

"If there's any evidence that this could help players, they owe it to us to explore it," Morgan told USA Today. "You hear about a lot of former players suffering from depression and dementia.

"Or the suicides," Morgan said. "[The NFL] could and should be a leader in this. If there's any evidence that this could help players, they owe it to us to explore it ... It's a legitimate ask."

Morgan went on to tell Katie Couric in an exclusive interview: "Given how much influence the NFL has on society, I think it would help the greater good. There's a lot of people suffering and a lot of people that can benefit from cannabis as a medical treatment."

Tennessee: Titans Linebacker Derrick Morgan Joins Eugene Monroe's Marijuana Cause

Derrick Morgan.jpg

By Derrick Stanley
Hemp News

Tennessee Titans linebacker Derrick Morgan has joined Eugene Monroe in asking the NFL to research the benefits of medical marijuana.

"I feel like the NFL has a responsibility to look into it, to delegate time and money to research this for its players," Morgan told Yahoo Global News. "Given how much influence that the NFL has on society, I think it would help the greater good. There's a lot of people suffering and a lot of people that can benefit from cannabis as a medical treatment."

Monroe had been the only active NFL player to publicly speak out for marijuana policy reform, until appearing with Morgan in an interview with host Katie Couric.

Morgan has played 76 games for the Titans, and has recorded 27.5 sacks. He signed a four-year, $27 million contract in 2015.

Morgan said he's not concerned about the reaction to his position on marijuana as a benefit to NFL players.

"In thinking of the benefits that will come from spreading the awareness and the knowledge about this substance, I think greatly outweighs any backlash or ramifications that might come about it," he told Yahoo. "It's about not only us, but former players, future players and more so society as a whole."

The league has resisted the idea that marijuana could benefit players, clinging to the reality that marijuana is banned under the substance abuse policy.

New York: Jim McMahon Thinks Marijuana Can Help Retired NFL Players

Jim McMahon.jpg

By Derrick Stanley
Hemp News

Jim McMahon, quarterback for the Super Bowl XX-winning Chicago Bears, had a career plagued with injuries and still suffers with several injuries in retirement. But he says he has found help for that suffering with marijuana.

McMahon was on a panel of former NFL players at the Cannabis World Congress and Business Expo in New York City, and he said there that NFL players need to get off opioid painkillers and instead use marijuana.

“There’s so many uses to this plant,” McMahon said, in an interview with the New York Daily News. “Hundreds of thousands of people are dying from [painkillers] and there’s not one case of people dying from the hemp plant.”

Former Giants defensive end Leonard Marshall agreed with McMahon.

“My quality of life has improved because of this,” Marshall said.

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell has said the league doesn't plan to change its marijuana policy, despite many former players — as well as at least one current player, Eugene Monroe — advocating for marijuana use.

“It’s an NFL policy and we believe it’s the correct policy, for now, in the best interest of our players and the long-term health of our players,” Goodell said in February. “I don’t foresee a change in that clearly in the short term.”

New York: Giants Coach McAdoo Has No Problem With Free Agent Eugene Monroe's Advocacy For Medical Marijuana

Eugene Monroe 3.jpg

By Derrick Stanley
Hemp News

Eugene Monroe, now a free agent tackle for the NFL, says he will not back down from his stance that the NFL should allow players to use medical marijuana. The New York Giants hope to sign him, and it appears they have no problem with that.

Giants coach Ben McAdoo said he has absolutely no problem with any of his players, or potential players, expressing their opinions, even on controversial subjects. And while he declined to address the Giants’ interest in Monroe or his own feelings on medical marijuana, McAdoo said Monroe’s stance isn’t an issue for him at all.

“I think everyone’s entitled to their own opinion,” McAdoo said. “Myself, I haven’t done any research. I don’t have a great answer for you there. That’s probably more of a political question, something that I’m not necessarily willing to jump into at this point, or ever. But every player, every coach, every person has their own opinion and is entitled to it.”

Monroe was released from the Baltimore Ravens on Wednesday; he indicated that his stance on medical marijuana is why the Ravens fired him with three years and $20 million left on his contract.

He has been very vocal about his opinion that medical marijuana is a safer alternative to the opioids and painkillers prescribed to so many NFL players.

Maryland: Baltimore Ravens Cut Eugene Monroe, Mention His Marijuana Advocacy

Eugene Monroe 2.jpg

By Derrick Stanley
Hemp News

The Baltimore Ravens released offensive tackle Eugene Monroe Wednesday, mentioning his outspoken marijuana advocacy on their website afterwards.

“Monroe had surgery to repair a torn labrum (shoulder) this offseason, and used the time off to become the first active NFL player to openly campaign for the use of medical marijuana. The Ravens did not rally behind the cause,” the Ravens’ website says.

After that, the Ravens’ site included a quote from head coach John Harbaugh, saying, “I promise you, he does not speak for the organization."

There usually are more than one reason when a player is cut. Monroe was due a $6.5 million salary this year and had a history of injuries.

But Monroe's outspoken push for the NFL to consider changing its position on marijuana is probably one of thee reasons for him getting dropped.

That would be unfortunate if true. Players should be able to speak their mind when it comes to matters of public policy without it costing their position in the organization.

Michigan: Lions Linebacker Levy Speaks Out For Medical Marijuana Reform

DeAndre Levy.jpg

By Derrick Stanley
Hemp News

Eugene Monroe, offensive tackle for the Baltimore Ravens, has been the only active NFL player to speak out for reform in the league's marijuana policy for a long time. But he was joined recently by DeAndre Levy, linebacker for the Detroit Lions, who spoke out about medical marijuana research for NFL players.

He spoke to the Detroit Free Press about using medical marijuana as a substitute for opioid drugs: “I think it’s something that needs to be addressed,” Levy said. “I know players, former, current and it was a time where it was very, very easy to get as many painkillers as you needed, as many sleeping pills as you needed. And if we’re talking about the health of our players, past their playing career, I think it’s definitely something that needs to at least be acknowledged and something looked into as there’s a lot of viable and growing body of research supporting it.”

Levy has been outspoken on a number of social issues since his injury, taking aim at the NFL for the way it’s handled concussions and penning an essay for The Players Tribune on sexual assault and the objectification of women.

Suffering a hip injury last season that resulted in surgery, Levy made a conscious decision to rehab himself back to good health without the use of opioid pain-killing pills that are commonly prescribed in the NFL.

U.S.: Top NFL Doctors Have Conference Call With Marijuana Advocates

Eugene Monroe 2.jpg

By Derrick Stanley
Hemp News

Baltimore Ravens offensive tackle Eugene Monroe has been pushing for the NFL to change its marijuana policy for months. The NFL seems finally willing to listen.

A pair of the league's top medical people recently participated in a conference call with the researchers Monroe helped fund with a donation of $80,000.

Jeff Miller, the NFL's senior vice president for player health and safety, and Russell Lonser, a neurological surgeon and a member of the league's head, neck, and spine committee, talked to Monroe's group. The league had apparently requested the call.

“They are interested in learning more about the potential for cannabinoids to help current and former players, as is evidenced by them taking the call, and also expressed a desire to learn more,” said Marcel Bonn-Miller, an assistant professor at the University of Pennsylvania school of medicine. “They are definitely showing genuine curiosity, and they are definitely not throwing up roadblocks.”

So far, Monroe is the only active player speaking out for changes in the league's marijuana policy.

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